About Wolfgang Forge
Wolfgang Forge was established in 1993 by Wolfgang Rotbart. The smithy is located in Vernonia, Oregon, about an hour's drive northwest of Portland.
Married Dianne Luttrell in 1977.
Wolfgang trained as a machinist in
high school and afterwards. He
worked as machinist for 8 years and as a millwright (precision industrial mechanic) for 2 years.
He attended Tennessee
Technical University where he received a degree in mechanical engineering
in 1985. During this time, he
participated in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), rugby and operated the
college’s astronomy observatory, including public tours. Afterwards, he
worked as a mechanical designer and project engineer for 5 years.
Starting in the early ‘90’s, over a
period of several years, he went from full time engineer to full time
blacksmith. Wolfgang Forge
was officially founded in 1993.
“When I was a boy,
about 40 years ago (wow!), my father took me to see a fellow who seemed
ancient even then. His shop
was a jumble of old lathes, mills and other large, strange machinery.
He also operated a foundry with all its smoke, noise and dirt.
I was awestruck and spellbound.
As much as anything, that visit kindled a life-long passion for
“I did not get started in blacksmithing until I was attending college. At that time, one of the few activities I could afford to indulge in was cave exploration. One day I was asking a local farmer if he knew of any possible caves in the vicinity. He said no, but that if anyone around did, it would be Mr. Meyers. The farmer said, “You know Mr. Myers don’t you? He’s that blacksmith feller”. My ears immediately perked up. I had always been fascinated with blacksmithing, but had never been able to actually find a smith; I thought they were extinct. The farmer gave me instructions to the smithy (a smithy is where a blacksmith works, not the smith himself). I met Mr. Myers and within 15 minutes, was having my first forging lesson. I would practice when I could and visit Mr. Myers for corrections and further instruction every chance I got such as holidays and school breaks. I was somewhat of a klutz and Mr. Myer would have great fun at my expense. But I didn’t care, I was having great fun. I had found my life’s work, though I didn’t quite realize it at the time.”
Wolfgang Rotbart, Blacksmith
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